Cassi Claire » Wedding Photographer serving NYC, NJ, PA, CT, NY

Ahhhh part three of my incredible Western adventure! I began this journey in Vegas and traveled through the desert to Santa Barbara, then spent 5 days in the woods with some amazing photographers, and then finally Christopher arrived and we spent a week soaking up southern California! We stayed in Manhattan Beach but didn’t actually spend much time there. We spent a day walking from the Venice Beach pier to the Santa Monica pier – I saw my first LEGIT hippie and worked out on Muscle Beach!  We rode the super famous Pacific Park ferris wheel and had fish tacos on the pier.

The next day we walked around Hollywood and were thoroughly disappointed…other than the stars on the sidewalk and some really good sushi, there wasn’t much else going on. But we visited some old friends in San Pedro for dinner so that made up for it! After a kind of icky LA day, we decided we needed a break and drove down to San Diego to visit some other friends! This adventure was my favorite part of the trip…

Our friends are in La Jolla, so we had to stop at La Jolla Cove to see the baby seals! SO CUTE!

PCH = my favorite highway on earth.

Oh hey squirrely!

Balboa Park was an absolute favorite for us both! You have to go there! I mean, just look at those crazy trees!! I couldn’t stop day dreaming about all the amazing spots to photograph an engaged couple or bride and groom! Someday!! :)

Look ma, no hands!

I was pretending to be this Dilophosaurus from Jurassic Park! I don’t think my face got the memo though…look scary, not scared!

If I were an evil dictator, my power would be to make everyone in the world change all their doors to be this door! #cassifordictator

Since we didn’t leave our friends until like 3:00 a.m., we ended up crashing in San Diego for the night. After an unforgettable breakfast at the Great Maple, we turned a two-hour drive back to LA into a 6 hour drive…we stopped everywhere we wanted to stop and envied the lives of everyone in Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach! And on our last day, we did what any self-respecting Six Flags season pass holder would do…visited Magic Mountain! :)

California, we love you oh-so-much and cannot wait to be back again!

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I love the whole premise of Photo Field Trip: photographers in nature (instead of a stuffy classroom), surrounded by other creatives, learning in yurts, adventures through fields, hikes to play with baby goats, campfire smell everywhere…it’s so wonderful! After last year’s experience (see Part I and Part II), I knew I had to return this year if for no other reason than to see what California is like without a monsoon! Um, it’s AMAZING!! Sooo much SUNSHINE! :)

Wish I had found the time to make a camera strap…oh well, next time!

How awesome is TOMS?! They gave each of us one of their very first ever TOMS backpacks and a pair of killer TOMS sunglasses! I especially love the bag because it supports pregnant women across the globe by providing them with a safe birth kit. Each year, over 40 million women give birth without the help of a trained birthing attendant. In TOMS amazing “one-for-one” business practice, each bag purchased will provide a safe birth kit for another mom-to-be. Read more about it here!

Meet my adorable friend Sidney Morgan – the queen of living adventurously! :)

The adorable Martha Swann was so fun to photograph!

This stunning beauty is Keetch Miller – a wonderful family photographer in NY!

You’ve already met my travel buddy Mikkel Paige, but isn’t she adorable?! Love the pink hair!

Funny story: I was just walking around meeting new people and this beauty was standing and talking to a friend in this MAGNIFICENT lighting…I just had to stop and take her portrait. Alison Henrie, thanks for humoring me! Oh and you have got to go check out her website – if you hover over her cartoon selfie at the top, she winks at you! TOO CUTE! :)

And then the best thing ever happened, Christopher arrived!!! YAYYYY!! I was so excited to show him around El Capitan Canyon since he’s heard so much about it! 

And he got to feed a donkey, so I think he was pretty happy too! Although in this particular photo I think he was mostly concerned about keeping his fingers safe! ;)

The third and final installment of our California trip is coming soon!

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The real title of this should be “that time 5 girls and their 7 (8?) bags of luggage sardined themselves (yes, I used sardines as a verb) in a BMW and drove across the desert” … but I thought that seemed a little winded.

This past March, I flew out to Vegas to meet a bunch of photo friends for WPPI (an annual photography conference). We came, we partied, we saw pretty sample albums…it was awesome! But the real adventure began when we over-packed a BMW and drove from Vegas to Photo Field Trip in Santa Barbara, CA!

We stopped at the oh-so-gorgeous Red Rock Canyon just outside of Vegas, and it blew my mind! I’ve never seen such beautiful terrain!

Meet my good friend Mikkel Paige! She’s an explorer extraordinaire with a heart of gold. We planned this whole adventure together and along the way added 3 other ladies to join us on this crazy trip of a lifetime!

Amy Emily, from Boston, is an absolute gem! When a simple lunch date turns into a 9 hour marathon, you know you’ve got a real keeper! 

Chelsea Brown, from Detroit, answered our social media call for a 4th person to join our car. It was so great having another adventure-seeking photographer to share the fun with!

Our suuuuper last minute addition, and she *almost* didn’t fit, was Justine Milton from Canada! We instantly bonded over Gilmore Girls at a fun group dinner at Wolfgang Puck, and without her I don’t think I could have stayed awake the whole drive. If you ever need someone to keep you peppy at 2:00 a.m. on a boring highway, Justine is your girl!

Thank you girls for a truly unforgettable-crazy-insane-pothole-infused-adventure!!

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  • April 3, 2015 - 9:25 PM

    Mikkel Paige Mihlrad - Loveeeee! :-) Wheeee!ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2015 - 10:35 AM

    SoCal WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER, PACIFIC COAST | Cassi Claire - […] part three of my incredible Western adventure! I began this journey in Vegas and traveled through the desert to Santa Barbara, then spent 5 days in the woods with some amazing photographers, and then finally […]ReplyCancel

It’s always fun waking up to AWESOME emails! Like finding out you won an Editor’s Choice award for getting your work published so much in 2015! As much as I’d love to fluff my own feathers and take all the credit, it actually has very little to do with me. Sure editor’s look for clean and beautiful photography, but more importantly, they look for beautiful wedding decor that will inspire future brides-to-be! I just watched the Oscar’s so I’m in a very acceptance-speech-giving-mood soooo…I’d like to thank the academy share this award with every florist that created a world of beauty, every planner that spent countless hours bring the entire day together, every designer who created gowns to die for, every venue that works so hard to create an experience guests will never forget, and most importantly, every couple who shared their love story with me. I, fo reals, love you guys! :)

“The Editors’ Choice Awards honor Two Bright Lights’ members whose talent was continually recognized by top print magazines, blogs and ezines. Your hard work and commitment to getting published places you among the top 5% featured, from a community made up of over 40,000 photographers and event professionals.”

TBL_award2015certificate

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  • March 31, 2015 - 5:32 PM

    Leandra Brown - Congrats Cassi! :)ReplyCancel

EEEEE!!! Time for my favorite post of the year!! I got a little sappy while writing my Best of 2014: Engagements post a few days ago, so I’m going to try to be a little more put together today. Key word being…try. This has been a record-breaking year for both me and Christopher (if you are new to the blog, that’s my hubs!). We traveled to TWELVE destinations this year including Paris, Venice, Florence, and several states across the US. We gave up the Brooklyn life to purchase our first home and are now NJ residents again (welcome back, Taylor Ham!). I had my first BIG magazine publication in The Knot New Jersey magazine! And I was so blessed to have been able to photograph 16 AAAAAMAZING weddings!

As someone who not only owns but wears Crocs (don’t worry, they’re the cute-ish ones!), my dream has always been to photograph mostly farm, vineyard, and estate weddings. This year that dream came true! Some of my favorite venues were the Wainwright House, Red Maple Vineyard, the Inn at Westwood Farms, the Highlands Country Club, Congress Hall, and Prospect Park in Brooklyn! This has been a year for dreaming big, working hard, laughing harder, and soaking in the light (spiritually and literally)! :)

My jaw dropped when I first saw this reception tent!

One of my favorite moments! SO MUCH JOY!!

Obsessed with this ring!!

Oh hey Donkey.

Cocktail hour with lawn games is my favorite!

Ya’ll know how much I love First Looks…I’m such a sap!

Hollaaaaaa! We married!

The Madison Hotel Conservatory is so glowy beautiful on a sunny day! Gorgeous ladies!!

To my couples: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for inviting me to become a part of your lives and share your love story with the world. I look forward to many game nights, BBQs, and overall shenanigans in the future! xoxo!!

PS: If you made it all the way to the bottom of this post, you’ve earned this behind-the-scenes gem! ;)

Cassi Claire Behind the Scenes

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  • February 10, 2015 - 7:44 PM

    Amy Rizzuto - What a gorgeous post Cassi!!! I loved getting a glimpse into what looked like an amazing 2014!ReplyCancel

  • February 12, 2015 - 11:10 PM

    Estela D'Agati-Duce - Congratulations on getting to shoot at such wonderful locations and such lovely couples! Your pictures capture all the emotions so well and are classic and so beautiful!! You’re a very talented artist!ReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2015 - 3:32 PM

    Caroline Frost Shea - So many pretty photos! <3 Your editing and use of lightReplyCancel

  • May 24, 2015 - 5:10 PM

    Debbie Spicer - Love it Cassi!! You are the BEST!! God bless!! Think of you often!!XOReplyCancel

Best of Cassi Claire Engagements

I can’t believe another year has come and gone! It feels like I was in this place just yesterday…you know the place…the place of anxiously awaiting the warmth and the smell of springtime! Because springtime means it’s engagement photos season and soon after that comes wedding season! EEEEE!! But before I get too excited for 2015, I’d like to give a proper salute to 2014. What an incredible year it was! I made so many new awesome couple friends and was blown away by their love for each other. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to be a small part of so many great love stories – to add these fleeting moments in time to a permanent memory bank. It’s just so surreal!

To my incredible couples: Thank you for making me fall more in love with what I do each day, for inviting me into your lives, and for keeping me smiling all year round! xoxox! <3

Gentle kisses and snuggles!

2014 was the year of puppies! I love when couples include their fur babies in their engagement photos! SO CUTE!

Photographing love in Venice, Italy is probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done!

Unless you count photographing love in Florence too! ;)

And it may not be Italy, but Saratoga NY is one of my favorite places on earth – so it was a dream come true to photograph an engagement session there in 2014! :)

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens engagement session!

Drinking wine on a Manhattan rooftop? Yup, also pretty dang magical!

One of my favorite and most delicious venue choices was Taqueria in Jersey City! Tacos are the new cupcake! :)

Drinking vintage Coca-Cola on the Brooklyn Bridge pier!

An engagement session is not complete without some sort of yummy snack – like these whoopie pies from One Girl Cookie!

Oh and THAT RING THOUGH!

Dancing in the cobblestone streets of downtown Brooklyn = magic!

Raise your glass and toast to a just-as-amazing 2015 season!! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for this year!! 

If you’d like to book a session with your love (engagement, anniversary, couple), send me an email!! cassi@cassiclaire.com

Best of 2014 Weddings – coming soon!

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Hooray! I’m sooo excited to see Nicole and Oscar’s gorgeous summer wedding featured on the Wedding Chicks blog! Their pink and gold wedding at the Wainwright House was simply perfect! As I look out the window onto the snow and ice waiting for me on my driveway, I just can’t stop day-dreaming about the warmth and smiles awaiting me this 2015 wedding season! :)

Click here to view the feature on Wedding Chicks!

Wedding-Chicks-N-O

To view their original blog post, click here!

 

 

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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/holiday vacation! If you’re real lucky, you’re still eating left over Christmas ham sandwiches like me! ;)

Today, I am blogging my last wedding of the season, and I just can’t stop thinking about how much fun this day was! John and Max are two of the coolest kids in town – gorgeous, funny, full of joy and love, and so genuine! Their Madison Hotel wedding included a sunset ceremony in a beautiful glass conservatory, the coolest bouquets ever, and the most unique approach to a “First Look” I’ve ever seen! :)

Max and John love all things vintage, handmade, romantic and slightly rustic. I love how they incorporated their vision into every aspect of the day, down to the tiniest detail – including this awesome display of the Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue tradition! :)

Isn’t she GORGEOUS!?!

Max was so good to share her spotlight with her completely adorable niece Brianna!

Look at those eyes!!

John also got ready at the Madison Hotel. Huge thank you to my incredible second shooter Leandra for capturing such great memories of John! How cool are these pocket watches he gifted to all his groomsmen?! #iwantone

Both John and Max opted to have “First Looks” with their parents…how stinkin’ sweet!

On a cold November day, this conservatory full of sunshine was an answer to prayer for the girls!

SO MUCH PRETTINESS!

I told you these bouquets were awesome! The curly willow, pea pod, and burlap combination is just so cool!

Max carried photos of loved ones down the aisle with her…

If you follow my blog at all, you know I’ve been looooving the “bestie profile pic” part of the day lately! It’s just so fun!

I don’t normally include family photos in my blog posts, but this is one sharp looking family and their colors are totally keeping my Christmas spirit alive! ;)

I’ve been calling this the “Anti-First-Look” but I’m open to name suggestions! Here’s the story…their ceremony was scheduled for sunset and they really wanted beautiful daylight portraits together, but they didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! We decided to have a ton of fun and get real creative with ways to get awesome photos of them with their siblings, wedding party, and alone…without catching a glimpse of each other!

It was so fun to have all the wedding party there!

No peeking John!

Everyone was in tears!

Hooray! Congratulations John and Max!! Love this moment of joy! <3

The Madison Hotel’s historic interior was so great for post-ceremony group photos since it was pitch black outside! Oh November, you and your early sunsets!

Max and John created homemade Chimichurri sauce favors (YUM!) and a vinyl record guest book. Each guest signs the record at their table and the couple will have a totally unique “guest book!”

Max’s first dance with her father had everyone in tears! He surprised Max with a recorded version of himself singing their first dance song…not only was it incredibly emotional, but he’s also insanely talented! Blew everyone away!

Friends were celebrating from all ends of the earth! :)

I love being able to show my couples a slideshow of some of their wedding photos on the wedding day, and apparently they love it too! :)

I was soooo not ready to have my dance skills tested, but you can’t turn down the groom! ;)

What an incredible day! Max and John, you are both so beautiful inside and out! I’m so happy to know you and I know that this day was just the beginning of your happily ever after! xoxoxox!

Credits // Ceremony & Reception Site: The Madison Hotel // Flowers: AW Flowers // Bride’s Dress & Veil: L’Fay Bridal // Rings: West Essex Jewelers // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: East West Bridals // Groom’s & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse // Hair & Make-up: Toni & Guy Hoboken // Invitations: DesignedWithAmore // Reception Entertainment: The Oasis // Photography: Cassi Claire // The End!

 

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  • December 28, 2014 - 5:37 AM

    Debbie Veloce - So beautiful. What a beautiful wedding all captured to treasure forever
    God bless you both. Much love and many Happy years.ReplyCancel

  • December 28, 2014 - 7:56 PM

    Mikkel - Love seeing how you photographed this one, especially!! Awesome job capturing their emotions! xoReplyCancel

  • December 29, 2014 - 12:44 PM

    Katie Long - these are great! Love the CHALLENGE ACCPETED anti first look. those are soooooo sweet <3ReplyCancel

  • December 29, 2014 - 5:39 PM

    Christie Leigh Sules - So beautiful!!!! You are amazing Cassi!ReplyCancel

  • December 29, 2014 - 5:42 PM

    Phil Gorman - Wow…That is a Wedding!!ReplyCancel

  • January 15, 2015 - 2:07 AM

    Jillian Glaser - Love them Cassi!ReplyCancel

  • June 5, 2015 - 3:53 PM

    NJ WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER THE KNOT MADISON NJ | Cassi Claire - […] View original blog post here! […]ReplyCancel